US-based ISP cuts service to Russia

Cogent Communications, a US-based internet service provider, would begin cutting services to Russian customers.

David Schaeffer, CEO of Cogent, told the Washington Post that the company wanted to prevent the Russian government from using its network for cyberattacks and spreading propaganda, but did not want to cut off normal Russian citizens.

DC-based Cogent is a provider of Internet backbone, or data routes between interconnected computer networks. Cogent’s networks carry about 25% of global internet traffic, Schaeffer told The Washington Post. The company provides services in more than 200 markets in 50 countries and is one of the largest providers in Russia. Rostelecom, a Russian public telecommunications company, is one of Cogent’s customers.

Schaeffer told the Post that the decision was not to “allow the Russian government to have another tool in its war chest.” The company began phasing out its Russian customers starting Friday noon Eastern time.

Cogent said in a statement that it was complying with EU regulations regarding “the blocking of certain media”.

“Cogent does not otherwise restrict or block traffic from or to Russia,” the company said in a statement. “Cogent continues to provide services to Ukraine.”

This story has been updated to include a statement from Cogent.

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